Breakfast to pay homage to Black History

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Preparations are under way for the Jerry Henderson Prayer Breakfast at St. Paul's AME church and according to Dejerilyn Henderson, the event promises to be a blend of progressive political organizing and fellowship and entertainment.

&uot;As part of Black History Month, we are having this prayer breakfast on Saturday at 9 a.m. and we'll have some food and some talent from local young people and several salutes and tributes to black heritage,&uot; she said.

Henderson said the breakfast was named after her ex-husband who is currently in East Africa helping to establish and monitor democratically-based elections. She said she expected Rev. Clarence Noble, the guest speaker at the breakfast to highlight themes of black history and social progress, with a focus on Henderson's accomplishments.

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&uot;Rev. Noble is the pastor at Greater St. Mark's in Tuskegee, but he's from Pike County originally,&uot; she said. &uot;He'll probably reflect on the history and progress of the last 20 or 50 years.&uot;

Jerry Henderson is a former Pike County commissioner who has worked on elections in Bosnia, Central and South America and various parts of Africa. Dejerilyn said Jerry would remain in East Africa for another two and a half years, but expected the breakfast to be a tribute to his many accomplishments in this area.

&uot;We picked the AME church as a location because that's a church with a lot of history,&uot; she said. &uot;The AME churches were founded by Bishop Richard Allen after he got tired of being forced to sit in the balconies of white churches. So he and the black parishioners formed their own church.&uot;

St. Paul's AME, located at 608 E. Academy St., is headed by Rev. Samuel Smith.

The breakfast is also being sponsored by the Pike County Democratic Conference.

&uot;The ADC is the oldest black political organization in the state,&uot; Henderson said. &uot;We just celebrated the 32nd anniversary in May 2002.&uot;

Stephen Stetson can be reached at stephen.stetson